While a regular denture isn’t supported by implants and just rests on the gums, as the name suggests, we attach implant dentures to these implants. When a person has sufficient bone in the jaw to support implants but to teeth, implant dentures are an ideal choice.
They are endowed with special attachments that merge with the ones in the implants. Regular dentures, although immensely effective on the upper jaw, allow for very less stability when placed in the lower jaw and demand the additional support provided by the implants.
Nevertheless, we may place the implant dentures can either in the upper or lower jaw depending on what suits you the best and as your dental requirements demand. However, they can be tricky when it comes to maintenance. You have to remove them daily for better oral hygiene around the gum area and the denture itself.
How do they work?
Implant dentures can be categorized into two kinds - bar-retained and ball-retained. The thing common to both is the acrylic base that impersonates the look of your gums and they require at least two implants to support them.
- Bar-retained dentures - We fit attachments like clips to a thin metal bar that precisely replicates the curve of your jaw. These are then joined to implants (ranging from two to five) in your jawbone. We may also fit the attachments to the dentures which hold it in place firmly and it attaches to the bar effectively.
- Ball-retained dentures - We ensure that each and every implant in the jawbone supports a metal attachment. Then, we join this to another attachment placed in the denture. The implant attachments are ball-shaped (also variously known as “male” attachments) which we fasten into their respective sockets (also variously known as “female” attachments) on the dentures. While this is true for most cases, we may reverse the process in some cases as we deem fit.
For implant dentures, we place the implants in your jawbone at the front. There are several reasons for this. There are more bones in this part than the back and because of a dearth of nerves, the chances of interruption are thoroughly reduced.
The implant process can span over a time of five or seven months or even one year depending on your condition and involves two surgeries - one to embed the implant in the gums and the other to ensure the tops of the implants are exposed. At times, however, we do these in one go.
During the course of the first surgery, we dig up a hole in the bone, followed by a stitching of the incision once we place the implant. Then, we allow some time to let the implants fuse with the bone.
Once this is done, we place a collar or a healing cap on each implant for one to two weeks after exposing them through a minor incision. At times, we also fix a temporary denture. Abutments replace the caps and our experts make a model to replicate the gum and the abutments. Following this, we efficiently place a metal bar or ball attachments in the abutment. Attachments like clips usually made of nylon and have to be replaced every 6-7 months.